Review | Laura Money
Mesmerising and stunningly realised, ILBIJERRI Theatre Company in conjunction with Australian Dance Theatre weave history and spirit, ancestor’s stories and the lessons they teach in a beautiful dance and movement piece that feels at once ancient and contemporary. Tracker follows Wiradjuri director/choreographer Daniel Riley‘s quest to understand his Great-Great Uncle Alec Riley, a Wiradjuri elder who served as a tracker for the police in the early twentieth century. Riley’s impeccable choreography takes his character across generations of spirituality and imbues the work with a strong sense of understanding the land. With live music composed and performed by Gary Watling, Tracker is the live manifestation of building connection through dance and music.
Beginning on Country, the performers Tyrel Dulvarie, Rika Hamaguchi and Kaine Sultan-Babij sit on the edge of the stage, bearing silent witness to Ari Maza Long as he enters carrying official documents in a bid to get to know his ancestor. In monologues by Ursula Yovich and Amy Sole, Maza Long expresses his lack of connection to country and by extension, his great-great uncle. Through reading the documents and revealing the stories, Maza Long begins to interpret the land through the eyes of a tracker – the greatest. Gently guided by the other dancers in interpretations of the text and ghosts of the past, Tracker is a rollercoaster of a show with fast-paced, heart-hammering movement that calms into slower and more introspective and reverent dances. The movement not only reflects Wiradjuri culture but deeply connects the character of Daniel to his Country. They are the physical manifestation of a combination of ancestral knowledge, knowledge of country, and understanding of framing wisdom in a First Nations way, rather than through its colonisers.
Tracker is a truly remarkable exploration of brilliant skills and ancestral learning, of coming into knowledge – it is an initiation through powerful movement and dance. Each of the dancers move in perfect harmony, their strength is admirable and they flawlessly deliver a story through movement – writing the tale in the air with their bodies. The power of this show will stay with you as you carry the learnings back to your own country.
You can track this stunning performance at the State Theatre Centre WA until 4th March 2023. TICKETS
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The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.